• National Breastfeeding Month

A mother's body is incredible as it continues to provide nutrients and food for the baby in breast milk even after birth. Did you know that more than 80 percent of babies in the United States start out breastfeeding? The best way to ensure your baby is getting all the proper minerals, proteins, and antibodies they need during their first year of life is by breastfeeding. Many mothers who prolong breastfeeding with their children can improve their bond, physical health, and mental health. Dr. Brenda Ross, a maternal-fetal medicine physician at UCR Health Inland Empire Women's Health Center, shares some more information on breastfeeding!

What are the major impacts of breastfeeding?

New moms who are not accustomed to motherhood may struggle with the responsibilities of nurturing the baby which affects their mental health. Moms may also experience a disconnect between themselves and their children and baby blues or in more severe cases postpartum depression. Breastfeeding can help ease the symptoms and help moms form that motherly bond with their child, which helps improve the mother's mental well-being in addition to helping with the baby's growth and development. Breast milk contains lots of nutrients, vitamins, and antibodies that protect the child from allergens, infections, diseases, and many more.

Pregnancy and birth take a toll on the body so many moms may experience not only postpartum depression but also postpartum health problems like urine incontinence and Type 2 diabetes. Breastfeeding can help with the recovery process after birth because of the hormones that are being released and this helps decrease the risk of prolonging or even having postpartum health problems.

When should moms avoid breastfeeding?

Breast milk may contain all the nutrients and minerals that are beneficial to the baby but breast milk may also contain other agents that are instead harmful to the baby like in instances when the mother has diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B or C, etc. Infections and diseases can be passed to your child through breast milk. It is safe for mothers who are taking certain medications and drugs to be breastfeeding but always confirm with your pediatrician, obstetrician, or pharmacist for more information.

What are human milk banks?

Mothers who are unable to produce enough breast milk for their children or are unable to breastfeed may look into milk banks. Milk banks are services that collect breast milk from mothers who are willing to donate and then process, screen, and distribute the milk to babies who are sick and whose mothers are unable to produce breast milk for them.

Always remember to talk to your primary healthcare provider if you have any questions regarding breastfeeding your child. You can also contact us at 1-844-827-8000 or submit an online appointment request to meet with a UCR Health physician.

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About UCR Health

UCR Health is comprised of a team of physicians, specialists and healthcare professionals dedicated to improving people’s health. With five medical offices located throughout Inland Empire and Coachella Valley, UCR Health is growing to meet the healthcare needs of the region, bringing innovative, culturally sensitive medical care to the community. Established alongside the School of Medicine at the University of California, Riverside, UCR Health’s patient-centered primary care and specialty services deliver university-based healthcare excellence and innovation to all communities.